[ pil-ij ]
/ ˈpɪl ɪdʒ /

verb (used with object), pil·laged, pil·lag·ing.

to strip ruthlessly of money or goods by open violence, as in war; plunder: The barbarians pillaged every conquered city.
to take as booty.

verb (used without object), pil·laged, pil·lag·ing.

to rob with open violence; take booty: Soldiers roamed the countryside, pillaging and killing.


the act of plundering, especially in war.
booty or spoil.

Nearby words

  1. pill beetle,
  2. pill bug,
  3. pill popper,
  4. pill pusher,
  5. pill-rolling,
  6. pillar,
  7. pillar box,
  8. pillar to post,
  9. pillar-and-breast,
  10. pillarbox

Origin of pillage

1350–1400; Middle English pilage (see pill3, -age), modeled on Middle French pillage (derivative of piller to pillage, orig., to abuse, mistreat, tear, of uncertain origin)

Related formspil·lag·er, nounun·pil·laged, adjective

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for pillage

British Dictionary definitions for pillage


/ (ˈpɪlɪdʒ) /


to rob (a town, village, etc) of (booty or spoils), esp during a war


the act of pillaging
something obtained by pillaging; booty
Derived Formspillager, noun

Word Origin for pillage

C14: via Old French from piller to despoil, probably from peille rag, from Latin pīleus felt cap

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for pillage
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper